What is Tocilizumab, this promising drug for treating Coronavirus?

APHP doctors conducted a study of 129 patients hospitalized for moderate to severe Coronavirus infection. Of these, 65 received treatment including  Tocilizumab which appears to “significantly improve their prognosis”.

How to overcome the Coronavirus? Doctors from the Paris Hospitals – Public Assistance (APHP) may have found the answer thanks to Tocilizumab. The results of a first randomized trial show that this drug “significantly improves the prognosis of patients with moderate or severe Covid pneumonia,” said the APHP in a statement released on Monday.

What is Tocilizumab?

It is a drug usually used for its immunosuppressive action in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The purpose of this trial is to verify whether the prescription of an immunosuppressant can prevent cytokine storms. This phenomenon is generated by the secretion of molecules called cytokines, which aim to combat the aggression generated by Coronavirus.

But faced with the particularly strong virulence of a virus on certain organisms, the body can get carried away, and start to produce much more cytokines than necessary, which is called a “storm”, “storm” or even “shock “Cytokine. The body no longer targets only infected tissue, but also healthy tissue. This immune disturbance worsens the condition of the person, and can lead to fatal internal failures.

Who was the study conducted on?

To conduct their trial, doctors looked at the case of 129 patients hospitalized for moderate or severe Coronavirus infection, “but not requiring resuscitation at the time of admission,” the statement said. Among them, 65 received usual treatment as well as Tocilizumab and 64 received only the usual treatment.

Promising results

They then analyzed who, among these patients, “needed ventilation (mechanical or non-invasive)” and how many deaths had occurred in the 14 days following the study. It emerged that this “primary endpoint was achieved in a significantly lower proportion of patients” treated with Tocilizumab.

“These results should be independently confirmed by further testing,” said the statement.

David T

David T is a french Medical student, during its free time, he is writing for The Medical Progress and helping us to understand better the Coronavirus.

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